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Wednesday headlines and audio

Oct 05, 2011 1:24 am
School officials want to turn Durham Elementary into a charter school
WGXC volunteer Anne Horst recorded the meeting Tue. Oct. 4 in the Cairo High School auditorium about the possibility of turning Durham Elementary into a charter school. School officials said they hoped the school board would vote on the issue at the Oct. 13 meeting. About 40 citizens turned out to hear why the change: Durham Elementary is half empty and costing taxpayers extra to run it half-empty. How would it pay for itself: part of the curriculum would be online, and attract students from around the state. There would be a lottery, first among Durham students, then throughout, and then outside the Cairo-Durham school district. Click here or below on PLAY CLIP to listen to the meeting audio via mp3.
Entire meeting about possible charter school. PLAY CLIP

Bigger burden falling on food pantries
W. T. Eckert reports in the Register-Star that food stamp use in Columbia County is up 11 percent in the past year, with 5,662 Columbia County residents, now receiving benefits. Last August, 5,109 folks in Columbia County needed help with food, according to Columbia County Department of Social Services Commissioner Paul Mossman. "Mossman said his department’s overall caseload is up 13 percent, due to a variety of issues, ranging from the increase in food prices, energy costs and housing costs to an increase in health insurance options and prescription medication," Eckert wrote in the paper. “So people have less and less to spend on food items,” Mossman said, “and what money they do have left probably doesn’t stretch far enough, therefore we do see more people relying on food pantries.” Read the full story in the Register-Star.

Hunters wanted to help small game count
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) encourages hunters to participate in two surveys for popular game species during this fall's hunting seasons. Rabbits hunters in Rensselaer, Columbia, Dutchess, Putnam, or Westchester counties are asked to submit the heads of rabbits harvested to help determine the distribution of New England cottontails. Those interested in participating, or for more information, please contact DEC by phone at 518-402-8870 or by e-mail at fwwildlf@gw.dec.state.ny.us (please type "NE Cottontail" in the subject line). Hunters are also asked to keep logs about hunting ruffed grouse and American woodcock. Those interested in participating can download a hunting log from the DEC website. Detailed instructions can be found with the form. Survey forms can also be obtained by calling (518) 402-8886 or by e-mailing fwwildlf@gw.dec.state.ny.us (please type "Grouse Log" in the subject line).

State police seek missing Athens man, 71
The Daily Freeman reports that Joseph M. Platt, 71, of Athens, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, has been reported missing, according to state police. He was last seen Monday near Greenlake Road, wearing blue pants, a blue T-shirt and black shoes, and is 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighs around 220 pounds, accoridng to police, who ask anyone with information to call 518-622-8600. Read the full story in The Daily Freeman.

Occupy Wall Street protests gets labor rally
The Occupy Wall Street protests in Manhattan are joined by several labor groups and sympathy strikes on Wed., Oct. 5. Students at SUNY schools around the state say some will walk out at 1 p.m. Other protests are being held around the country. WGXC correspondent Kelly Benjamin will call in with a report live during the protests on the WGXC Afternoon Show live from the Catskill Community Center every Wednesday.
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