Weekend in review
Some of the stories that made the news Fri., Sep. 15, through Sun., Sep. 17:
Bill Williams reported for WCTW-FM, "The Cat," a unidentified male hiker fell Sat., Sep. 16, at Kaaterskill Falls. He reported fell from roughly half way up the falls onto the rocks below. The man was reported to be conscious and breathing after the fall. Haines Falls Fire, Tannersville Rescue, Hunter Ambulance, police, and forest rangers, all responded. The state Department of Environmental Conservation just last week unveiled work done at the Falls during the past six years to improve safety and accessibility at the site. There have been multiple fatalities and injuries at Kaaterskill Falls in the past years.
Dan Goldberg reported at Politico New York a decision last week by a state Appellate Court could cost New York's home care agencies tens of millions of dollars and threatens to totally change the industry. The case was filed by two live-in home health aides employed by New York Health Care and Future Care Health Services. Both employees claimed their companies violated the state's minimum wage law by failing to pay them for every hour they worked. Home care agencies typically pay employees for 13 hours per day, allowing eight hours for sleep and three hours for meals. However, recently several employees have challenged that rule, alleging the practice violates minimum wage laws. Because the two plaintiffs were not permitted to leave their clients' sides, they argued the agency should pay them for all 24 hours, and on September 13, the Second Department of the Appellate Division agreed.
Richard Moody reported for Columbia-Greene Media the Columbia County Board of Supervisors last week approved bonds for capital improvements and the Columba-Greene Community College capital project. The count will issue $2.7 million in county government bonds to pay the maximum estimated cost for capital improvements to roads, bridges and solid waste systems. And the board's vote on Wed., Sep. 13, commits the county to contributing $5 million to the college's $20 million capital project. The approval allows the bonds to be included in the county's 2018 budget, but does not mean the county will ultimately borrow the money. Planned capital improvements include $500,000 for road paving, $350,000 for solid waste equipment and $1.85 million for bridge repairs. The Greene County Legislature on Wednesday also approved a $5 million bond resolution in support of the college's capital project. The State University of New York will provide the final $10 million.
Jeanette Wolfberg reported in The Columbia Paper at a meeting of the Hudson Board of Education Mon., Sep. 11, Superintendent Maria Suttmeier confirmed that the current school year is the last for John L. Edwards Primary School, located on State Street in Hudson. Beginning in September 2018, JLE will be closed and pre-kindergarten through 5th grade will be housed in the Montgomery C. Smith building on Harry Howard Avenue. A new addition must be built at MC Smith to accommodate the new classes. In addition to consolidating from three to two campuses, the district will add four bus runs.
Daniel Zuckerman reported for Columbia-Greene Media Kirwan's Game Store, a fixture on Catskill's Main Street, is expanding to open a second location in Poughkeepsie. The store specializes in sword and sorcery card games. The new store will be located in the Poughkeepsie Galleria, near Macy's. Kirwan’s General Manager E.J. Santiago said the store is in a good financial position to open a second location. “[Owner] Stephen [Kirwan] is looking at it as a trial run,” Santiago said. “It’s been discussed for at least a better part of a year.” Catskill assistant manager Chris Johnson will run the new place when it opens in early October, Santiago said. The new Kirwan's will be more compact, focus more on the retail side of things and rely on heavy foot traffic, he said, while the Catskill store attracts a regular clientele. On September 10, Kirwan’s co-sponsored the Ultimate Comic Book Trade Show and Expo at held at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie. The event provided an opportunity for Kirwan's to spread the word about the new store.