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Weekend in review

Apr 03, 2017 12:15 am

Some of the stories that made the news Fri., Mar. 30 through Sun., Apr. 2:

Politico New York reported the state budget is now later than it has ever been since Andrew Cuomo became governor. Negotiations remained stuck over the $150 billion plus spending plan on Sat., Apr. 1. A Cuomo spokesman declined comment on the status of the talks, but the issues said to be holding up approval include: raising the age of criminal responsibility from 16 to 18, reviving a New York City housing subsidy program and the amount of money going to public schools. Cuomo declared the weekend a grace period after the midnight deadline was missed Friday. By Monday. Cuomo is prepared to issue the first emergency spending resolution. State payroll comes due on Tuesday.

The Daily Freeman reported a small plane with four people on board flipped over while landing at Sky Acres Airport in Union Vale, Dutchess County, Sun., Apr. 2. One passenger suffered minor injuries and was hospitalized as a result. State police said the Cessna was attempting to land on Runway 17 when it ran off the east shoulder and came to rest overturned in a small pond. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating.

Emilia Teasdale reported in The Columbia Paper village of Chatham Police Chief Peter Volkmann recently announced additional special services available through the Chatham Cares 4U program. Speaking at the Hudson Library last weekend, Volkmann told the crowd that after person is placed in treatment through Chatham Cares, the person's family can now request the services of a detection dog to check their home for drugs. The dogs are there to “check the house to make sure it’s safe,” he said. Volkmann, who heads the part-time village police department, started the Chatham Cares 4U program last summer. Based on a program in Gloucester, Mass., anyone struggling with addition can come to the village police station and request help. The police then locate a treatment bed for the person and provide transportation to the treatment center at no cost. People seeking help are not arrested, as long as they are not the subject of any outstanding warrants. To date, the program has helped more than 80 people find treatment.

Pat Doxsey reported in the Daily Freeman the Ulster County Legislature will hold two public hearings Tue., Apr. 4, on two proposed local laws. One of those laws would regulate pet breeders in the county. The second would make cyber-bullying by minors a misdemeanor offense. The Legislature voted last month to enact both measures. Under the new pet law, breeders in Ulster County would be required to obtain a permit and comply with minimum standards of care. The law is intended to keep puppy mills out of Ulster County. The cyber-bullying law would make it a crime for a person to electronically transmit information not of public concern that they know will inflict emotional harm. Violators of the law under the age of 16 are to be charged as juvenile delinquents and prosecuted in Family Court. Violators over the age of 16 would be charged with a misdemeanor. A first-time offender could be sentenced to probation for the crime; repeat offenders could face jail time. The hearings will be held beginning at 10 a.m. in the legislative chambers of the Ulster County Office Building in Kingston.

Daniel Zuckerman reported in The Daily Mail Greene County officials are considered alternatives to incarceration during a recent county Legislature workshop on the proposed county jail project. District Attorney Joseph Stanzione said some of the individuals now incarcerated in the existing county facility are people he wants to see eligible for drug court, a program used in conjunction with probation intended to keep offenders out of the prison system. Another eligible group are those charged with felonies, but not considered a general danger to society, Stanzione said. “We’ve got people — talented people, addicted to drugs,” he said. “They have the possibility of rehabilitation.” The Drug Court program has 20 participants at present and has been in place for 10 years. Another alternative to jail time for misdemeanor charges is community service, Stanzione said.

Rosa Acheson reported in the Register-Star a bus will soon be available to the elderly and disabled in Columbia County get to medical appointments and community outings. The American Joint Care Foundation will soon provide a 14-passenger van with space for six wheelchairs. The foundation currently has a vehicle to assist residents of the Whittier Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center in getting to appointments and events. The Happy Bus fundraiser was held at Whittier last week. Funding is being sought from the state Department of Transportation Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities program. The foundation must raise 20 percent of the $70,000 bus purchase price, or $14,000, to be approved for the grant. The event in March was one of five fundraisers held to help with the purchase.

Daniel Zuckerman reported in The Daily Mail that work resumed last week on the $12.5 million Catskill sewer project on Brooks Lane in Jefferson Heights. Winter weather halted the project in December. Delaware Engineering Designer Travis Smigel says they restarted there because of traffic to the Catskill Golf Resort. "Obviously with golf season kicking off, we want to get that done soon before all the traffic comes," he said. Smigel also warned drivers may see delays from Route 23B to the entrance to the New York State Thruway and the Route 23B overpass because of the sewer construction this spring. The story says the project, "will initially cost the average single-family home in the new sewer district between $800 to $900 a year to pay back the incurred debt." Catskill Town Supervisor Doreen Davis could not say March 30 what the exact increase in water bills will be after the project is completed. "As you work through this, there will be costs that will be incurred," Davis said.

On April 7, the Mountain Eagle will distribute 20,000 free issues of its "Spring quarterly edition" to every household in Schoharie County, and to many others in eastern Delaware and northeastern Greene counties. The Schoharie News recently bought the 34-year-old Mountain Eagle newspaper from Columbia-Greene Media. Columbia-Greene Media also recently shuttered The Windham Journal, folding it into the Thursday edition of The Daily Mail beginning in April.

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