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Wednesday headlines

Mar 23, 2011 6:36 am
NRC to make Indian Point top priority in nuclear plant seismic risk review, says governor
Mid Hudson News Network, and all our newspapers, report that the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission is going to make the Indian Point power plant in Buchanan its “first and top priority” in its review of seismic risk at 27 nuclear power plants throughout the country. The move comes at the request of the Cuomo administration, which held a meeting at the NRC’s Maryland headquarters Tuesday, March 22, where the NRC agreed to a cooperative review of Indian Point with the state.

Missing man found after two years on the road
Andrew Amelinckx of the Register-Star has a story about how a Canadian man who has been considered missing for more than two years will soon be reunited with his family thanks to the intercession of a local good Samaritan from Hudson. Rader Sherma, a Canadian citizen originally from Punjab, India, got on a Greyhound bus in Abbotsford, British Columbia, a suburb of Vancouver, two and a half years ago thinking he was heading "to the market” and ended up in New York City. There his passport was stolen, he ended up living on the streets, and eventually took a train to Poughkeepsie, from which he walked north to Hudson. Earlier this week local pastor John Ogden found Sherma wandering near his house on Route 9 and brought him to a Greenport convenience store whose owner spoke Hindi.

Black Bridge to be studied for waterfront walking loop
Colin DeVries of the Daily Mail reports that a structural investigation on the Village of Catskill's 19th century rail bridge spanning Catskill Creek, used for utilities and a pedestrian crossing in recent years, has been approved by Greene County legislators. "The Black Bridge, a treasured walkway for many pedestrians and students traversing the banks of the Catskill Creek, will undergo a study of its structural integrity and an overall analysis before restoration plans are furthered," DeVries writes of the $8,905 contract's approval. Its restoration has been incorporated in the Greene County Economic Development, Planning and Tourism Department’s Catskill Downtown and Waterfront Revitalization Strategy, which sees the bridge as part of a waterfront walking loop proposed along Water Street and West Main Street, and including the Uncle Sam’s Bridge to the south.

25 to life given in Hudson slaying
The Times Union has a front page story on the Hudson courtroom sentencing of William Demagall, 27, who claimed he was on a mission from God when he killed a retired schoolteacher in 2006, to 25 years to life in prison. Demagall, who escaped from a secure mental ward at Berkshire Medical Center in Massachusetts and hid in a cave just before the killing, was found guilty in November of second-degree murder after a second trial for the stabbing and bludgeoning death of George Mancini, 56. The retired Hillsdale schoolteacher and mathematician was killed, then set on fire Feb. 11, 2006, at his Breezy Hill Road home. When asked by Judge Jonathan Nichols if he had anything to say before sentencing during the emotional sentencing hearing in the Columbia County Courthouse on Tuesday, March 22, staff writer Bob Gardinier writes that Demagall looked straight ahead and said, 'No thank you, your honor.' "Law enforcement officials said at the time that Demagall told them he looked directly into Mancini's eyes as he stabbed him dozens of times because he wanted to see Mancini's soul as he died," the author writes.

Logging, gravel exemptions draw concern from resident
Jim Planck writes in the Windham Journal of concerns voiced against proposed Town of Hunter exemptions for a new Site Plan Review local law discussed at a town meeting on March 22. The purpose of the law’s amendment is to “specify certain activities which shall explicitly not be subject to review by the Town of Hunter Planning Board, relating to Site Plan Review,” and it states 13 of them. Several residents questioned exemptions for logging and gravel mining, describing those activities as more disruptive to the land.

Deja vu all over again
Carole Osterink reports in her Gossips of Rivertown on new discussion at the Hudson Library regarding what had been a local Cinderella story -- the raising of funds to purchase the historic old orphanage building on State Street after it had been gifted to the local school district, and subsequent listing of the structure as an historic structure. Seems that funding problems in recent years have left the library again looking for a new home, with accompanying concerns about what to do with what many consider the city's most striking historic building. We'll be getting Ms. Osterink and various involved parties on air to discuss this issue more deeply in the coming weeks. Sometimes the best intentions, it turns out, get thwarted by the brutal economics of the day.