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Weekend in review

Dec 19, 2016 12:02 am
Some of the stories that made the news Fri., Dec. 16 through Sun., Dec. 18:

William J. Kemble reported in the Daily Freeman incoming U.S. Rep. John Faso is urging President-elect Donald Trump to "...bend over backwards" to reassure the public that his financial entanglements will not harm the country. The Kinderhook Republican said the public has a right to know what conflicts of interest exist. “This is a more complicated question than if someone were a wealthy individual who held a large stock portfolio, for instance,” Faso said. Faso said the public should feel assured that Trump is not taking the matter lightly. “I haven’t quite figured out how it can be dealt with in a reasonable way, but I think they need to make these efforts and do it in a serious way,” he said.

Hudson Police made headlines around the country and overseas when they responded to a report of a woman frozen inside a locked car on City Hall Place, Fri., Dec. 16. Hudson officers and the Greenport Rescue Squad arrived after receiving a call from a passerby who said there was an elderly woman "frozen to death" inside a Subaru parked on the street. A police sergeant broke open the vehicle's window only to discover the woman was in fact, a CPR training Manikin. In a statement released after the incident Friday, Hudson Police Chief Ed Moore said, "...All citizens of Hudson should be put on notice that if you park your locked vehicle on the street on a sub-zero night with a life-size, realistic mannequin seated in it...we will break your window. I commend everyone who responded with the intentions to help an elderly woman." The story, "Police rescue 'frozen' woman who turns out to be mannequin," was picked up by the Associated Press, Fox News, The UK Daily Mail, CNN, and other outlets, Saturday and Sunday.

Matthew Hamilton reported at Capitol Confidential the state submitted an emergency regulation Fri., Dec. 16, requiring the homeless be sheltered when the temperature drops to 32 degrees or colder. The emergency regulation continues an executive order issued by Gov. Andrew Cuomo last January. Under the regulation, police must perform assessments of the homeless to determine if they are competent to seek shelter on their own. If they are deemed incompetent, the person must be immediately sheltered. The rule also requires shelters to take the necessary steps to extend their hours to keep the homeless indoors longer when temperatures are below freezing. The state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance estimates the rule will cost the state approximately $3.4 million this winter.

Emilia Teasdale reported in The Columbia Paper that 50 people dealing with addiction have successfully sought and found treatment through the Chatham Cares 4 U program since it began in early 2016. Chatham Police Lieutenant Joseph Alessi updated the Village Board on the program at the board meeting last week. Under the program anyone can come to the Chatham police station and request help with their addiction to opiates, turn over drugs or drug paraphernalia for destruction with no questions asked, without being charged. Alessi said the Chatham Police Department has received $1,200 in donations for the program, as well as clothing, blankets, chairs and a refrigerator.

Gregory Hudson reported for Columbia-Greene Media a bill to combat elder abuse will be introduced in the state Assembly in January. The measure is sponsored by Assembly members Steve McLaughlin and Pete Lopez. The legislation would provide important rights to families with a loved one under the care of a guardian, and increase the accountability of those guardians to family members. Existing state law does not always provide families with legal recourse in the event of abuse. McLaughlin said the proposed bill "...would allow family members to petition if they are denied visitation rights and entitles them to health care information related to their loved one."

Columbia-Greene Media announced last week that the Chatham Courier will now appear as supplemental material included in an "enhanced" Thursday edition of the Register-Star. In a statement included in the Thu., Dec. 15, edition of the Courier, Columbia-Greene Media wrote, "The same local, original content found separately in the Chatham Courier for over 150 years will now be printed on dedicated pages inside the Register-Star." The media group called its decision "a bold move to hyper-local" coverage. The Courier will continue to cover the towns of Chatham, Canaan, Austerlitz and New Lebanon; the village of Chatham; and the Chatham and New Lebanon school districts. The Schoharie News announced last week its plan to acquire Columbia-Greene's Mountain Eagle newspaper, effective January 13. Columbia-Greene Media reduced the staff at many of its smaller weekly papers earlier this year.

Greg Hudson reported in The Daily Mail the Hunter Foundation has announced it will provide the village of Tannersville with needed matching funds for the $500,000 state economic development grant awarded last week. Mayor Lee McGunnigle said the grant would go towards development around Rip Van Winkle Lake in the village. "We’re going to make a lot of impact," Hunter Foundation co-chairman Sean Mahoney said. The foundation and village partnership began last year, when the foundation matched an initial $150,000 state grant. Mahoney said the development will focus on a trail system to connect Main Street with Rip Van Winkle Lake, along with the continued development at the lake itself. Mahoney said plans include the development of an outdoor performance venue on the lakefront, as well.

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