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Weekend in review

Sep 12, 2016 5:45 am
Some of the stories that made the news Fri., Sept. 9, through Sun., Sept. 11:

Roger Hannigan Gilson reported in the Register-Star hundreds of people gathered in Hudson's Seventh Street Park on Sat., Sept. 10, in a vigil for Halle Schmidt, the 21-year-old Copake woman reported missing on September 4. On Saturday, the body of a woman was found near Old Post Road on the border of Ghent and Kinderhook, around 3 a.m. The Columbia County Sheriff's Office and the Columbia County District Attorney's Office are investigating, along with the New York State Police. District Attorney Paul Czajka said the matter is being treated as a homicide, but “all unattended deaths are treated as homicides until they are proven otherwise.”

Stacy Cowley reported in The New York Times workers in New York state who receive their wages on prepaid cards will gain consumer protections next year. Under the new rules, employees paid on debit cards must be allowed to make unlimited, free withdrawals from their cards from at least one ATM located “a reasonable travel distance” from their home or work. The rules also prohibit charges for monthly maintenance, account inactivity, overdrafts, checking a card’s balance or contacting customer service. Companies will also have to offer their workers the option of being paid either by cash or check. They will no longer be allowed to require their employees to accept a payroll card. The new safeguards are reportedly among the strongest in the nation. An estimated 200,000 workers statewide are paid through debit cards. The new rules are scheduled to be released this week by the state Department of Labor.

Karrie Allen reported in the Chatham Courier the Chatham Board of Education is seeking public input to inform its superintendent search. Superintendent Cheryl Nuciforo has announced she will retire at the end of the current school year. The feedback received from faculty, administration, students, non-instructional staff and the community will be used to create a candidate profile and compile selection criteria to be used during the search. To gather this information the board will hold two forums on Mon., Sept. 12, at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m., in the Chatham High School Auditorium. For those unable to attend the forums, a survey is available online at Chatham Central Schools [dot] com through September 30.

Paul Grondahl reported in the Times Union more than 50 environmental activists paddled kayaks and canoes along the Hudson River Sat., Sept. 10, protesting the Pilgrim Pipeline. Dubbed the People Over Pipelines Flotilla, the protesters blew plastic whistles and affixed signs to their watercraft that read "No Pilgrim Oil Pipelines." The proposed 178-mile double pipeline would move Bakken crude from the Port of Albany to northern New Jersey, and then send refined crude back north to Albany, largely along the I-87 corridor. Pilgrim Pipeline Holdings has argued that moving the highly flammable material by pipeline would be safer and more environmentally friendly than moving it by rail or barge. The flotilla participants strongly disagreed, with chants of "Water Is Life!" and a large banner that read "Keep It In The Ground." The event was organized by People of Albany United for Safe Energy, known as PAUSE.

Audrey Matott reported in the Greenville Pioneer sewer costs are going up in Greenville. The town board voted last month to raise the sewer fees to $110 per quarter, an increase of $14. The last rate increase was in 2007. Greenville is financing a 30-year loan on the sewer district extension, and the financiers of the project recommended the rates be increased to create a fund balance for future repairs. "We have been under one consent order after another and the old plant is getting switched over to the new one, and there is a lot of uncertainty with what's it's going to take us to operate that plant in terms of cost," said Supervisor Paul Macko.

Emilia Teasdale reported in The Columbia Paper the Ichabod Carne Board of Education heard from three candidates interested in filling an open seat on the board during a public meeting held last week. The vacancy was created by the resignation of John Chandler. Branden Caluneo, Daniel Cohn and Michael Stead each hope to assume the one-year term. Stead previously served on the board on an interim basis, but failed to win election in May. He is a teacher employed by the Chatham Central School District and his three children are Ichabod students. Caluneo is a recent graduate Ichabod Crane High School. He is currently attending Hudson Valley Community College. Cohn is employed by the IRS locally and is a pastor at a Stuyvesant church. His children attend the Ichabod Crane schools. Following the public conversation board members convened behind closed doors to discuss the appointment. The board hopes to fill the seat prior to its September 20 meeting.

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