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Friday headlines

May 27, 2011 5:48 am
USDA Raises Dairy-Price Forecast But Keeps Food Inflation Steady
Tom Polansek in The Wall Street Journal reports the U.S. government raised its forecast for retail dairy prices Thu. May 26, but left its food-inflation prediction at 3 to 4 percent for 2011. "Officials said the overall forecast didn't increase because higher prices for dairy products were offset by lower prices for other goods. The USDA didn't adjust the forecast range for any category except dairy. Yet the government did note pork prices slipped 0.3 percent last month, while its fresh-vegetable index dropped 3.5 percent," the story noted. Retail prices for dairy products are now forecast to jump 5 percent to 6 percent in 2011, up from an April forecast of 4.5 percent to 5.5 percent, due to higher prices for milk. Greater demand linked to the global economic recovery, and rising fuel prices, are cited as factors in the price spikes. Read the full story in The Wall Street Journal.

GOP announces slate of candidates for county positions
John Mason in the Register-Star writes that the Columbia County Republican Party Committee nominated candidates for fall elections Thu. May 26. Among the candidates:
•District Attorney Beth Cozzolino was nominated for the county judge seat recently vacated by Paul Czajka.
•Czajka was chosen to run for Cozzolino’s district attorney seat.
•County Judge Jonathan Nichols will run for state Supreme Court.
•P.J. Keeler, county Emergency Medical Services coordinator and owner of KD Hallmark, will run for county treasurer, the post Ken Wilber is leaving after four terms.
•And former Sheriff Jim Bertram was nominated for county coroner.
Hudson City Judge Mark Portin was on hand, Mason reports, hoping to challenge Cozzolino for the judgeship, but no one made the nomination for Portin. “I’m really pleased with our slate. We have experienced, proven vote-getters in Beth Cozzolino, Paul Czajka and Jim Bertram and well-known local businessman Paul ‘PJ’ Keeler running this year. I think they are all winners,” county Chairman Greg Fingar told the paper. Read the entire story in the Register-Star.

Familiar faces, one newcomer make up Dem slate
John Mason also covered the Columbia County Democratic Committee nominations at Space 360 in Hudson Thu., May 26. Nominations included:
•Hudson City Judge Richard Koweek, was nominated for county judge.
•Gene Keeler was picked to run for district attorney. In 2008, Keeler lost the DA race to current DA Beth Cozzolino.
•Newcomer to politics Peter Stoll was chosen to run for county treasurer.
•George Davis will seek re-election as county coroner.
Read the full story in the Register-Star.

Misdemeanor against Valentines tossed out
Doron Tyler Antrim in The Daily Mail reports that the misdemeanor charge against Keith Valentine, the Greene County Legislature’s Republican majority leader, and his wife Cynthia, for unlawfully dealing with a child, was dismissed Wed. May 25 according to Columbia County First Assistant District Attorney Michael Cozzolino. The Valentines were arrested last August on a class A misdemeanor charge and violation of a county local law after police determined alcohol was available to teen-agers at the couple’s Catskill home during a Fourth of July party and graduation celebration in 2010. Cozzolino said completion of a state Alcohol Training Awareness Program, which the Valentines completed May 9, allowed for the dismissal. Defense attorneys have also filed a motion to also dismiss the local law violation. The Columbia County District Attorney’s Office has until June 29 to respond to the motion. Mr. Valentine voted for the Greene County Local Law No. 1 of 2007 as a legislator: “No person having control of any residence shall allow an open house party to take place at said residence if such person knows that any alcoholic beverage is being unlawfully possessed, served to or consumed by a minor at said residence.” The case is in Hunter Town Court. Read the full story in The Daily Mail.

Hudson River Historic Boat Restoration and Sailing Society elects officers
The Hudson River Historic Boat Restoration and Sailing Society Inc. elected officers at a meeting Wed. May 25: Louise Bliss, President, Joseph Rapp, Vice President, Marjan Schiereck, Recording Secretary and Katrina McEwan, Treasurer and a Board of Directors including Bennett McEwan, Joseph Kenneally, Maryellen Reidy, Leo Ponter, Mike Aquier, Nick Tipple, and Casson Kennedy. The group is working to restore the sloop Eleanor along the Hudson waterfront. The next meeting of the Board of Directors will be held on June 30 at 7 p.m. at 609 Warren St.
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